Better Buildings Summit 2019 Recap

The 2019 Better Buildings Summit hosted by the Department of Energy was held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia last week. The summit included numerous talks about improving efficiency and resiliency in buildings all over the world. 

To start the event, the attendees were welcomed by Secretary Rick Perry. Secretary Perry addressed everyone at the conference as “champions of the cause” as we enter into the new energy era. Secretary Perry also discussed how far the DOE and the world itself have come because it was once believed that energy initiatives were too costly. Yet, today it is possible and cost effective! He recognized the 250 business CEO’s that attended the summit who have vowed to take the BetterBuilding Challenge meaning that they will improve their energy efficiency by at least 20% over 10 years.

Rick Perry Secretary of U.S. Department of Energy

Rick Perry Secretary of U.S. Department of Energy

We were happy to hear that Secretary Perry addressed the water crisis and believes that water efficiency initiatives in the United States can have a global impact. Many other keynote speakers touched on water and were thrilled to report their progress on decreasing their total water footprint along with carbon and waste.  

We heard from Randy Gaines, Senior VP of Operations and New Project Development at Hilton where they hope to cut their environmental footprint in half by 2030, Danielle Azoulay Head of CSR and Sustainability at L’Oréal USA where they strive to reduce their environmental footprint by 60%, and Chris Castro Director of Sustainability and Resilience at the City of Orlando, Florida where they are also prioritizing energy efficiency. All three of these speakers highlighted their progress on their environmental goals and their commitment to achieving them. 

Randy Gaines Senior Vice President of Operations and New Project Development at Hilton

Randy Gaines Senior Vice President of Operations and New Project Development at Hilton

The summit included over 50 different panels of experts discussing innovative technologies and strategies to improve energy and water efficiency. Not only did you get to hear from the experts, but they encouraged group discussions. We attended many panels of which discussed topics from water efficiency and water project savings, wastewater energy security, building resilience, and all things hospitality. If only we could have attended everything! Other topics included: zero energy, IoT-enabled Lighting, financing energy efficiency and how to reach your goals, cutting-edge technologies, and many more.  

The Better Buildings Summit was not just organized with panels and keynote talks. There were also building tours, Ask-An-Expert booths, and numerous networking events throughout the two-day event.

Bringing together such innovative and knowledgeable minds is one step toward making the changes we need in this new energy era.  

We would like to thank the Department of Energy for hosting this event and all the speakers and attendees that made the experience worth the trip!  

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